Friday, November 06, 2009
Each Christmas, my dad would select and buy each of us (kids) a craft to keep us busy and to learn a new skill.
Back in the day, we had a store called "Lewiscraft" and it was amazing. This is where dad did his Christmas shopping.
I remember one year, I received a kit that was a quasi-stained glass kit and the black outline was actually a tubular shoe lacing and the colours (glass) were various shades of aquarium gravel. Oh, it seemed to take forever because one step we glued the lace over all the lines AND HAD TO WAIT FOR IT TO DRY. Ergh! Then we filled one section after another with white glue and the black gravel, then another section with the grey gravel, then the blue or green and the last colours were yellow and white. Can you remember how long it took white Elmer Glue to dry??? These kits had a nice picture frame for each kit to decorate our bedroom walls.
Another year, I received a leather kit and the pre-cut pieces looped together to make a belt. The more pieces you used, the bigger the belt! I probably wore that craft until it wore out and self destructed in the back of a closet!
Remember Plastigoop? I had a craft kit where a little square element would heat up, the liquid plastic could be squeezed into a metal mold and after it cooked (watch how it changed colour slightly), voila! You had a rubber Fun Flower, or a rubbery bug, (a Creepy Crawler?) and various other themes in this product. I remember my dad trying painstaking effects with the colour bottles. His flowers were unrivaled for artistic interpretation!
Dad made sure we tried the macrame craze. I think I was supposed to knot up a shoulder purse with beads on the front flap. I remember one statistic: One inch of finished macrame takes 7 inches of cord! 7:1!!! Is this crazy or what??? Those plant hangers that used to go from ceiling to floor must have been crafted in peoples' hallways or off a balcony or something. Who had that much room to devote to a handcraft?
One year we were given various beads and clear fish line. (That would be around the time my baby brother had stopped trying to eat all our craft materials.) A one-string necklace or bracelet was fine, but the craft magazines were showing 6 and 8 strand creations! OH MY GOODNESS! How did they manage to crisscross and keep the fishlines straight? I think my beading days were a bit of a fiasco.
I was given a paint-by-number kit with the little joined pots of paint all numbered and ready to pop their lids! I had the challenge of a white capped ocean scene and I thought the variety of blues was really stunning. Did we have to start with the lightest shades first or the darkest? All I remember of that craft was that 'next time' I would use some thinners and blend the colours better. My end result looked like a scene that had no subtlety whatsoever.
When we got a bit older and were allowed to use the stove, my dad, bless his heart, bought us some candle wax, the package wick, dye (looked like crayons to melt) and a candle making book. I remember one project used a waxed milk carton, some ice cubes, the wick was weighted and wire stiffened and I think I chose purple dye. This candle had open spaces where the ice had challenged the hot wax. If I remember correctly, if I shook the candle, it had pockets of water sloshing inside for a few years. Dad tried making a sand candle: he used a bucket filled with sand, dug the shape he wanted and poured the wax around the delicately placed wick. It was a three legged beauty!
We were happy with our Etch-A-Sketch that allowed us to be artistic no matter what the age or skill level. We enjoyed the colouring books and sticker pages that all the cousins could share. We seemed to have crafty items all over the house and most of them never got finished. I think dad and I loved the thrill of the new challenge and fresh concept more than the tangible handcrafted item that was supposed to be decorative and useful.
To this day, I like to visit fabric stores and design things in my head and on the napkin during a meal. My sewing machine has taken the place of glue and knotted cords.
Have you got a crafty project on the go right now or is there an artistic 'something' fermenting in the back of your mind? Let us shun the 'ready made' this weekend and stretch our artistic selves to try a handcrafted project in the next few days!!!
I dare ya!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Have you ever contemplated starting a second childhood? I used to find that my clowning experiences were exactly that. People didn't expect a person in clown make up to behave in a mature (and boring) way. They actually anticipated being surprised and entertained. (I don't usually have a problem with that.)
This afternoon I am wondering if I would still enjoy the games and activities that I did as a younger person. I loved being outside with girlfriends skipping on someone's smooth driveway or in the yard of the school. Remember those songs and chants that went with skipping (alone or with a bunch)? "Girl Guide, Girl Guide Dressed In Blue", "A", My Name Is Alice..." Perhaps you have memories of skipping songs.
I don't know if I have the upper body strength to pick up my marker if I tried hopscotch again. I think I could manage the footwork & jumping, but the bending over might... be....a...little... challenging. We didn't used to have lycra back then. We used to fight against our corduroy jumpers and bunched up leotards and laced up leather shoes (or heaven forbid, mom made you wear your rubberboots because it MIGHT rain!
I'd like to find one good brick wall where I could bounce a rubber ball in the toe of some nylons until the blasted thing shot out from the worn out end. Did anyone try that with an indian rubber ball? Ooooo I can imagine the bruises already!
I've never been one to juggle, but it used to feel like I came close whenever we bounced 2 balls against the school walls at recess. The tall wall of the gym was the best one, but you had to be fast out the school door or all the wall space would be taken up by the more fleet of foot.
Seems like we were always singing. Lots of games had songs and actions.
When we were going to or from school and it started to pour down on us, my sister and I would sing, "Robin In The Rain" to my little brother. He was the one who introduced "Little Rabbit Foo Foo" to me.
It used to surprise me that my younger sibs actually learned OTHER stuff than what was taught to me. How dare they alter the curriculum even one iota?? I was the big sister and it was my job to know everything. (Did I actually just write that?)
If for tomorrow, I planned a day of entering into my second childhood, I would splash in some puddles, sit on the ground (so I could get cold in my kidneys), run with scissors and play with a sharp stick (so I could put out somebody's kneecap), I'd hide a worm somewhere in the house, stick my tongue out behind somebody's back, not comb my hair or wash my face for at least half the day. I would draw a puppet on a paper bag and make him talk gibberish. I think I would like to revisit my finger painting days. I would definitely organize a parade! I would create homemade musical instruments with cans and beads, sticks and elastic bands, and just somehow I would design a wooden glockenspiel with boxes and tape! Let the music of youth and enthusiasm play on!!!
What would you do if you created a play day for yourself???
I wonder, would it still be fun?
Sunday, November 01, 2009
In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family
had contracted it and many died.
The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only three rooms or less back then).
The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.
Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in Arizona. She said that several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop.To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work...(And no, she is not in the onion business.)
The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.
If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case..
Whatever, what have you to lose?
Just a few bucks on onions!!!!!! !!!!!!!!
Now there is a P. S.. to this--- for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues.
She replied with this most interesting experience about onions: I don't know about the farmers story...but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill...I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put one end on a fork and then place the forked end into an empty jar...placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs...sure enough it happened just like that... the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.
Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.
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